The expression: Sweet FA

Questa espressione britannica significa “un bel niente”. Molti pensano sia un eufemismo per una parolaccia, interpretando quel “FA” con un bel “Fuck All”. In realtà è molto meno volgare e molto più triste: si rifà a un caso di omicidio… LANGAUGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Mark Worden (Standard British accent):

The British expression “Sweet FA” means “Absolutely nothing, zero.”  Many people think that “Sweet FA” is a euphemism for the more offensive “Sweet Fuck All,” but that is in fact is only part of the story. “Sweet FA” also stands for “Sweet Fanny Adams.” And Fanny Adams, unfortunately, was an eight-year-old girl who was brutally murdered (1) in the English village of Alton in 1867. Her murderer, a local solicitor’s clerk (2) called Frederick Baker, then chopped (3) her body into little pieces. It was, as you can imagine, a famous murder case and a national scandal, rather like (4) the story of Jack the Ripper (5) 20 years later. And so it came to pass that sailors (6) in the British Navy started referring to the awful tinned meat (7) that they were served in the Navy as “Sweet Fanny Adams,” and this was later abbreviated to “Sweet FA” because the value of this meat was absolutely nothing. To add to the confusion, “FA” also stands for “Football Association,” which is the governing body of English soccer (8), as in, for example, the FA Cup.

1. murdered: assassinata
2. a local solicitor’s clerk: un impiegato di un avvocato locale
3. chopped: fece a pezzi
4. rather like: quasi come
5. Jack the Ripper: Jack Lo Squartatore
6. and so it came to pass that sailors: e così avvennne che i marinai
7. awful tinned meat: terribile carne in scatola
8. the governing body of English soccer: ente governativo del calcio inglese

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